Supreme Court to Rule onTexas Voting Rights Case

Jun 15, 2015

Credit Todd Wiseman

The US Supreme Court has taken up a Texas voting rights case, known as Evenwel v. Abbott, reports the Texas Tribune. At issue is whether Texas voting districts fairly represent their citizens. The trouble lies in the fact that US Senate voting districts are assigned according to the numbers of people in them—not the number of eligible voters.

Some districts have significantly more children, felons, and immigrants who are ineligible to vote, and this gives the voters in those districts more political clout. For example, while each district holds the same population, 70 percent of citizens in Lamar Smith’s San Antonio district can vote, while only 44 percent of those in Marc Veasey’s Fort Worth district are eligible. This means that, in a perfect election with 100 percent turnout, a vote in Veasey’s district would carry more weight than one in Lamar’s district.